Hydrogen in France: key figures of 2023

hydrogen France key figures 2023

At the opening of Hyvolution Paris, France Hydrogene presented the key figures for hydrogen in 2023.

With a panel displaying the main indicators in the background, both presidents of the association, Valérie Bouillon-Delporte and Philippe Boucly presented the key figures for hydrogen in France for the year 2023. From the outset, Philippe Boucly wanted to put an end to the cliché that “France is lagging behind” and that “things are not moving forward.” In his view, 2023 has been a very fruitful year.

Progress in terms of regulation

He began by discussing developments on a European scale, notably PCIs (Projects of Common Interest), and the recognition of nuclear power as a means of producing renewable hydrogen. As visibility regarding the cost of electricity is crucial to the successful development of projects, Philippe Boucly believes that “we would need to reach 40/50 euros per MWh” to achieve prices of 4 to 6 euros per kilogramme of hydrogen. In this sense, TIRUERT* could act as a “game-changer.” By compelling fuel suppliers to offer a share of low-carbon fuels, this tax would enable a reduction of up to €5 per kilo of H2. He also expressed his excitement that, of the 150 stations subsidised by Europe, a third will be installed in France.

The President of the association then turned his attention back to France. In particular, he mentioned that the country eased the regulations on the retrofit of the hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2 ICE).

Hydrogen in France: key figures in 2023

He highlighted a 130% growth in installed electrolysis capacity (30 MW) between 2022 and 2023. There are currently 300 MW of projects in operation, under construction or having received a Final Investment Decision. However, he insists that we are “at the foot of the mountain”, as there are merely 7 years left for France to reach the target of 6.5 GW of installed electrolysis capacity by 2030.

In 2023, there were 69 hydrogen refuelling stations opened (58 in 2022). However, not all of them are open to the public. There are also 197 stations planned for the medium term (2025-2026).

It was then the turn of the co-president to comment on the progress made in mobility. Valérie Bouillon-Delporte certified that the offer does indeed exist. There are currently 1,320 vehicles on the road in France, including 59 buses (33 in 2022). Including orders and intentions from local authorities, nearly 750 buses could be deployed by 2026. Although only 3 trucks are currently on the road, 400 are in the pipeline, including 130 that are about to be deployed or already paid for (new or retrofitted).

The co-president also mentioned the fleet of taxis operating in the Paris region (Hype, Hysetco). With over 500 taxis, it is the largest fleet in Europe. On the subject of LCVs, she pointed out that most of the main car manufacturers have developed a hydrogen range to complement their battery-powered range. She stressed that the two solutions are complementary.

She went on to talk about stationary applications. There are currently 85 stationary installations in operation (37 by 2022), with a capacity of 4.6 MW. She also mentioned the 22 French plants specialising in hydrogen. These include Symbio or McPhy.

Between very successful companies and jobs in short supply

The two chairmen went on to talk about the major fund-raising by Atawey (€25 million) and EODev (€46 million). They also alluded to French champions such as Symbio, a company valued at over €900 million.

In 2023, 6,400 people were working in the french hydrogen industry (with 100,000 jobs expected by 2030). The industry is developing at such a pace that recruitment pressures are already being felt. Consequently, there is a need to “work on the attractiveness of hydrogen” and develop training opportunities, said the two chairmen.

*TIRUERT: Incentive tax on the use of renewable energy in transport. (French for : Taxe Incitative Relative à l’Utilisation d’Énergie Renouvelable dans le Transport)

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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